The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) has published its first sustainable development bond impact report. This report covers all bond issuances and the entire portfolio of IBRD’s development activities.
The Sustainable Development Bond Impact Report 2019 describes how IBRD bond proceeds support sustainability across a variety of sectors and how projects support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
World Bank bonds support the financing of sustainable development projects and programs in member countries. A key priority for the World Bank’s capital markets’ engagement is building strategic partnerships with investors to promote the role of private sector financing in sustainable development.
The report is a key part of the World Bank’s efforts to engage market participants to support capital markets with strong transparency and disclosure standards. At the same time, they want to improve market participation to direct greater capital flows to sustainable purposes.
“World Bank Sustainable Development Bonds help investors implement environmental, social, and governance investment strategies, while achieving development impact goals,” said Anshula Kant, managing director and World Bank Group chief financial officer.
Sustainable development finance
Kant continued: “We are delighted to share this first-ever impact report on the entire portfolio of World Bank bonds, which promote disclosure and transparency and the power of capital markets to connect global savings to sustainable development finance. I want to thank our investors for their continued trust in the World Bank’s financial strength and ability to deliver support to the people who need it most, including our recent work to support countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The report includes an overview of how the World Bank engages with investors when issuing Sustainable Development Bonds using the SDGs as a framework and highlights related transactions.
The Impact Highlights section maps results to the SDGs for 71 IBRD projects completed in the fiscal year 2019. It also provides forward-looking information for the 84 projects that were approved and started disbursing in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 – the period for which IBRD introduced detailed use of proceeds language for its bonds.
The report also provides information on the World Bank Group’s response to the coronavirus pandemic including examples of projects in countries eligible for IBRD financing.
The impact report was prepared in consultation with investors and other capital market stakeholders, as an integral part of the process, to ensure the report met investor expectations.
In addition to providing information on results, the report outlines the World Bank’s operational processes and safeguards and alignment of its bond issuance with market frameworks, namely the Sustainability Bond Guidelines coordinated by the International Capital Market Association.